19 October 2012

Shorter INDABA for 2013 as trade show gets a revamp

South African Tourism has given INDABA a revamp to ensure it remains relevant in today’s environment as the premier showcase for southern Africa’s travel and tourism products.

Exhibitors at INDABA displaying their products to visitors, hosted buyers and media. Exhibitors at INDABA showcase their products

We want to ensure the show remains a major attraction for international visitors and buyers, and a crucial business networking platform for the South African tourism trade.

After extensive consultation with tourism industry stakeholders, South African Tourism (SAT) has taken the decision to reduce INDABA from the usual 4 days to 3 days in 2013.

INDABA 2013 will take place from 11 to 13 May. The show will be geared towards giving visiting buyers easy access to a wide cross section of products from the South African and southern African tourism industries.

The aftermath of the global economic recession saw a decline in the number of visitors and buyers attending INDABA 2012, but the numbers were still impressive, with the show attracting 3 722 travel buyers and 1 458 exhibitors.

INDABA retains its stature as the business platform for international tour operators and buyers serious about growing their business in southern Africa’s burgeoning tourism industry

Thulani Nzima, SAT CEO, said South Africa offers potential international tourism buyers and tour operators a tangible opportunity for business growth and to be a part of South Africa’s tourism success story.

He said INDABA is not about breaking attendance records, but about focusing on attracting quality buyers, exhibitors and visitors. 'INDABA 2012 attracted a number of quality hosted buyers and exhibitors that compared favourably with 2010 attendance statistics,' he said.

The introduction of speed marketing sessions at this year’s show proved a major success. Attendees found their introduction to a large number of South African tourism products in a very short space of time very useful. The speed marketing sessions showcased products from the responsible and sustainable tourism, adventure tourism, and culture and heritage tourism sectors.

'The speed marketing sessions proved to be an exceptionally useful business introduction service for both exhibitors and buyers, and we will be hosting them again at next year’s show,' said Nzima.

INDABA 2013 will also feature an exhibitor workshop to discuss key tourism trends and industry updates with the world’s leading travel industry experts. And great news for TOMSA (Tourism Marketing Levy South Africa) levy payers is that they will receive a 10% discount on exhibition-stand costs.

To ensure a quality experience for INDABA 2013 attendees, SAT has changed the INDABA 2013 registration form to ensure 'products' can't register as buyers.

'We’ve been working to ensure we take into account as much feedback as possible about what worked and didn’t work at previous INDABAs. We want to ensure the show remains a major attraction for international visitors and buyers, and a crucial business networking platform for the South African tourism trade,' concluded Nzima.

To this end, SAT hosted 3 INDABA roadshows this October, in Cape Town, Durban and Johannesburg, which were attended by more than 360 tourism industry stakeholders.